Imelda Staunton Biography

Imelda Staunton photo

Born: January 09, 1956


This native of England became good friends with the likes of great British actors such as Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry while attending Cambridge University. With the drama experience she gained at school, Imelda Staunton began an extensive British theater career, adding classical work, contemporary plays and musicals to her resumé. Her work has been rewarded with four Olivier Award nominations, winning three times (Best Supporting Actress for A Chorus of Disapproval in 1985, Best Supporting Actress for The Corn is Green in 1985 and Best Actress in a Musical for Into the Woods in 1991). She also has won the Edinburgh Fringe First for The Lady and the Clarinet.

Imelda's work on the screen began in 1986 and was focused almost entirely on television projects for the next ten years. Following strong performances in telefilms like A Sleeping Life, A Masculine Ending and series like Thompson and Up the Garden Path, Imelda became visible to feature film audiences in Peter's Friends (performing with her university buddies), Much Ado About Nothing, Sense and Sensibility, Twelfth Night and Shakespeare in Love (for which she shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast). For her starring role in Vera Drake (2004), Imelda received nominations from the Golden Globes, Academy Awards and BAFTA awards, as well as winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival.

She has also done a number of voice projects, lending her vocal talents to animated films like The Ugly Duckling (1997), Chicken Run (2000), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Arthur Christmas (2011) and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012). She was also seen in the 2012 British horror flick The Awakening (2012) and the Disney film Maleficent (2014).

In 2018, she starred in Paddington 2 and in 2019, she joined her husband Jim Carter (who plays Carson, the butler) and the rest of the cast from the TV series Downton Abbey on the big screen in the sequel Downton Abbey (2019), in addition to reprising her role in the Disney sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019).

Imelda has been married to actor Jim Carter since 1985. They have a daughter, born in 1993.

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